Thursday, September 27, 2007

45 Sweet Birthday Wishes.

My business partner, and friend, Blair, turns 45 on Friday, so I made him 45 cookies.

I used Orangeluna's Soft Sugar Cookie recipe that she posted on the ppk almost a year ago. I frosted them with Lemon Creem Cheeze frosting and sprinkles.

Soft Sugar Cookies by Orangeluna

3 TBL extra firm silken tofu (morinu) mashed with a fork,
or pureed in processor/blender

1/2 c (one stick) margarine
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 c sugar
1 and 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Cream margarine and sugar for about 5 mins until fluffy.
Add mashed tofu and vanilla. Mix well. Sift the flour,
baking powder and salt into the mixture.
You can either roll out the dough and use
cookie cutters or make cookie dough balls
and flatten the dough with your hand onto
an ungreased cookie sheet. You want the dough
to be almost the thickness you want your cookie
because these don't rise much.
Bake for around 10 mins in 350 degree oven.

Other stuff: You might need to adjust the flour
a bit if the dough feels too wet. And these cookies
aren't super sweet. If you like them that way, or
if you aren't frosting them, you might want to add
2 more tablespoons sugar. And these REALLY aren't healthy.

Sundried Tomato & Pesto Burgers (Soy & Wheat Free)

Here's a new one. I made it wheat free by using Brown Rice Flour, but if you do not have a wheat allergy, feel free to use whole wheat flour instead.


Baked: (Baking works just fine, but as always, I like mine better fried.)


The Recipe
Sundried Tomato & Pesto Burgers: (makes 8 patties)
1 recipe prepared pesto (see below)
1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz mushrooms, sliced or chopped
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cups prepared (already cooked) brown rice
1/2-1 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup sundried tomato pieces (packed in oil) without the excess oil (just shake off the excess)

Prepare your rice per packacge directions in lightly salted water. In a skillet, heat up 1 tbsp olive oil and saute the mushrooms and onions on medium high heat for 7-10 minutes, until fragrant, transluscent and reduced by half. Add the sauteed onions, mushrooms, tomato pieces, rice and pesto to a food processor and pulse until well combined but still a little chunky. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Depending on the moisture content of your rice, onions and mushrooms add in the flour a little at a time until a good constistency for forming patties is reached. Knead together. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, so the flour can absorb the flavors and moisture of the mixture. Form into patties and cook as desired. If baking, use a nonstick cookie sheet, or make sure to spray with cooking spray, and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, flip and bake an additional 15. If frying, make sure there is enough oil in the pan to prevent sticking and fry over medium high heat for about 4-5 minutes per side.

For the Pesto (I usually double the recipe, using 1 for the burgers, and reserving 1 for later, to spread on the toasted bun, or throw on some pasta.)
14 (appx) large fresh basil leaves
2-3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp course sea salt
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 tbsp walnut pieces
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp olive oil

Add all ingredients up to the oil to a food processor and process until a puree is formed. Drizzle in the oil and pulse a few more times to combine.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Chipotle Sweet Potato Burgers

Another creation from the "Just the Burgers" test kitchen.

Something about the sweetness of a sweet potato or yam combined with the smoky spiciness of chipotle peppers has always reminded me of fall. For this burger, I didn't even need a bun to enjoy the savory with the sweet and just a hint of Autumn peeking through.

Before cooking.

Plated with a dish of Chipotle Dipping Sauce (from Cozy Inside.)

This one is baked.

This one is fried:

I think I actually like it baked, better than fried.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Is the Food Network Ready for TVP and the Nooch?

Here's how it went:

My call back time was at 11am at the Food Network Executive offices in Los Angeles. I finally got called in at 11:45am.

NO KITCHEN! Just a 36 inch round table with a black table cloth on it. The casting producer from Monday was the only one there.

He, first, had me do a 5 minute on camera interview. Then it was demo time, and yes he taped it. He said, okay, you have 3-4 minutes...I was like WHOA! 'Cause he told me 10 minutes on I was a little nervous to squish it all in in 4 minutes without it sounding rushed, or me talking too fast, but I think I did okay.

He told me it was no longer up to him, and that he would edit my entire video and interview down to 3 minutes total and then send it out to New York. The executive producers take it from there and we should find out in 1-2 months.

For what it's worth, he told me I had the best vegetarian demo he had seen so far...but he could say that to everyone.

So, I will keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. If nothing else, at least I tried and have had this experience.

Is the food network ready for TVP and the Nooch?

Western Bacon Cheeseburger

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Macaroni Weekend

Dan and I celebrated our 13 year anniversary (which is today) on Saturday. First we went to the Huntington Beach Pacific Waters Day Spa for a couple's massage followed by a couple's bath. How romantic! Then we went home and snuggled on the couch.

What could be more romantic than watching the food network with your honey? Anyhow, the macaroni and cheese challenge was on, and it inspired us to make a romantic dinner of ho'made mac and cheeze instead of going out!

I'm still trying to use up all of those bakin bits that I made so I put some in the mix. It's the Cozy Inside recipe plus 1/2 tub of tofutti better than cream cheese and bakin bits.

On Sunday my sister and nephew came over to bbq and I still had some bakin' bits leftover, so I threw them into this very basic macaroni salad.

Basic Macaroni Salad
Plain and simple.
1 lb pasta of choice
2 cups vegan Mayo
1/2 of 1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup imitation bacon bits
1/4 cup diced green onions
2 tbsp prepared dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper to taste

Prepare pasta as directed, in salted water. Drain and let cool. (Or cool it off by running it under cold water.) Mix in all the other ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield: 12 Servings

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bakin & "Egg" Breakfast Burgers

Another from the burger test kitchen!  The recipe, along with a video tutorial on making these can be found on Everyday Dish!  

Tofu "Bacon and Egg Breakfast Burgers"

Makin' Bakin

I love a challenge, so when asked about the hydrogenated fats in imitation bacon bits, I started on a quest. I normally don't buy premade meat analogs anyway, so why not figure out how to make these little bits of bacon-y goodness.

Of course, buying a jar of Bac-os is still the easiest.

Second easiest: Smart Bacon. Prepare as directed on the package, let cool and crumble.

But wait, that's still buying a premade meat analog?!? Well, at least there are no pesky hydrogenated fats...

Now, if you are a smidge adventurous, try this:

Imitation Bakin Bits
1/4 cup dry TVP granules
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
1/8 tsp salt
a few drops of vegan red food coloring (optional)

Mix together the water, liquid smoke, salt and food coloring. In a microwave safe dish, add it to the TVP and mix together. Cover with plastic wrap and cook for 2-3 minutes. In a dry pan, on medium high heat, place the reconstituted bits in a single layer and "toast" until the moisture is gone, constantly moving the bits around so they don't burn. Use as you would any imitation bacon bit.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Break From Burgers... have fun with phyllo!

An army of tasty triangles, all lined up and ready for duty!

After reading in The PPK forums that I am not alone in thinking a Saturday night at home cooking with my honey is more fun than going out to a stinky bar to spend way too much money on crappy beer...last night we decided to stay home and have fun with phyllo.

I have a humble kitchen, so we had to invent a work station by placing a door on top of a table to give us ample space to work.

I had every intention of making the VwaV Spanikopita, but alas, no fresh spinach at the grocery. Damn. So I improvised and made myself 2 varieties. One filled with the very popular (at least around my house!) Meximosa stuffing of soyrizo mixed with tofutti better than cream cheese and another filled with a delightfully sweet and savory mixture listed below:

Soyrizo mixed with Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese

Delightful Mushroom Stuffing:

Delightful Mushroom Stuffing:
(makes enough filling for 9 phyllo triangles)

1 tbsp olive oil (for sauteing)
1 8oz package mushrooms, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz (about 1/2 cup) walnut pieces
1/2 cup cashews (ground up)
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cinamon
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
2 additional tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
Sea salt and frewsh cracked pepper to taste

Heat oil in a skillet and add the mushrooms, onions and garlic, saute until fragrant and the mushrooms have reduced by about half. Add all other ingredients excepts salt, pepper and pine nuts to a food processor and pulse a few times, so that the mixture is chopped well, yet still a bit chunky. Fold in the pine nuts and add salt and pepper to taste.

Follow the instructions in VwaV for phyllo triangles in the directions for spanikopita...which, as I stated before, was what I had intended to make in the first place.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Join the Flickr Pool!

Hey! If you have made anything from my cookbook, "Cozy Inside" (even if it's from the free recipes on ) I'd absolutely love it if you would post a picture of it in the flickr pool!

Thanks a million,

More from the Burger Test Kitchen...

Seafood Burgers (Crab Cakes?)

"Super" Burgers (with Quinoa & Peas)

Bakin Cheezeburgers (rumor has it they taste like Carl's Jr Western Bacon Cheeseburgers)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Seitan Sliders on Biscuit Buns

Using a very variated variation of the Seitan O Greatness, I made sliders. I served 'em up on little biscuit buns! Everything is cute when it's ittle-wittle!

Sunday, September 2, 2007


I was going over to a friend's house Friday night and wanted to bring some finger foods that everyone would enjoy, vegan or not, while we were excitedly watching Chapters 13-22 of R.Kelly's "Trapped In A Closet." (Don't hate!) So I came up with these...SOOOOO EASY A CAVEMAN COULD DO IT!


Simply, a flour salt and water dough (+/- 2 cups ap flour, +/-1 cup water and a pinch of salt), rolled out thin and cut into squares. Inside I placed a couldn't be easier mixture of 1 package of Soyrizo and 1 tub of Tofutti better than cream cheese, all mushed together. I put a pretty big dollop of filling in each one and pinched then together at the top. I baked them on a cookie tray lined with foil, and sprayed with cooking spray, for about 20 minutes at 350. Half way through baking I brushed them with olive oil. These things got ate up like they were crack!

So, I wanted to make them again yesterday, but didn't have all of the same ingredients. It was 108 degrees outside, and I was still hungover from the previous night's adventures, so I wasn't about to get dressed and go to the market. I improvised.

Same idea with the dough...rolled out and cut into squares, but this time for the filling I used: 1 cup of TVP granules, reconstituted in the microwave with 1 cup of water and 2 packets of Taco seasoning plus some extra cumin, I also added 1 block of extra firm Tofu crumbled and mashed into the mix and some vegan sour cream and a little nooch. Damn if these weren't better than the originals...I was in hangover I made a few bitesized ones and A HUGE CALZONE SIZED ONE!!! Good eats, for sure.

2012 Copyright/Permissions/Disclaimers

All recipes written by me, Joni Marie Newman, unless otherwise noted. Please feel free to refer to or link back to any of my recipes, but please ask for permission, and remember to give credit when reprinting recipes in their entirety. I do provide links to affiliate programs (such as Amazon) in which I receive a small commission for items purchased. I do not provide paid reviews. All reviews done on products or books are of my own unsolicited opinion. On occasion I may receive a book or product to review. I will note when this is the case, but rest assured, it will not affect the authenticity of my review. Thanks!--Joni